Sweeney unveils new bill aimed at streamlining Rutgers board

By Patricia Alex, Staff Writer, The Record.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney on Tuesday moved to fast-track a bill aimed at streamlining the way Rutgers University is governed.

The legislation would reduce the number of members on the Rutgers Board of Trustees from 59 to 41, but it would not substantially diminish the group’s influence – something Sweeney had sought and Rutgers had fought in the past.

The bill was introduced in Trenton following a unanimous vote by the Rutgers Board of Governors in New Brunswick on Tuesday agreeing to the changes. In exchange, Sweeney said in a statement that he would not move forward with an earlier bill that would have increased political appointees on the governing board.


Meanwhile, more than 250 staff rallied during the governing board’s meeting Tuesday to protest a lack of progress in contract talks. Rutgers is in negotiations with as many as 20,000 employees. About 35 protesters attended the meeting, sometimes chanting and shouting.

Professor David Hughes urged the governing board take a closer look at labor relations on all three campuses. He noted that both President Robert L. Barchi and Football Coach Kyle Flood got bonuses last year while many staffers worked with an expired contract.